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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • ernewellernewell Posts: 8
    Please see my response #1923 to 'Jigga'
    RE: Need Advice

    I'm fed up with the lack of service, mishandling of service and now refusal of service from my local dealership; and, with Saab Cars giving me the run around regarding my 2000 95 wagon. The most recent problem is the Di module that they replaced gracious (though the car was out of warranty); but, installed it improperly and now the catalytic converter has burned up at 55,000 miles.

    I'm the last person to resort to legal action; but, they are making it hard for me not to consider that to be my best option.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    about 12 days ago i was driving my vette when it started to stall.
    would idle fine and then on acceleration it would stall.
    it was a total failure or blocking of the catalytic converter.
    this ,it appears had been going on for many years. the car is a 1986 conv. pace car in showrrom condition.
    the telltale signs were a ringing or like loose chain being handled.
    the sound comes on at idle and you can hear it at the tail pipe.
    if your tailpipe has a ringing sound to it ,or similar you may suspect that the cat conv. is falling apart.
    in my case i only drive this vette about 1500 miles per year so it was a slow process.

    my saab with 86,000 miles now, ( just drove it from vt/ct to fla. ) has a slight ringing to it at the tail pipe on first start,so it appears that the process is beginning.

    i do have a spare di cassette with me . but the oe one does not appear to be failing.

    i will look into this
  • ernewellernewell Posts: 8


    I'm apologize for 'rattling on' on this message board about the sobful woes of my lemon scented 2000 95 wagon!

    What I really do need advice on is what is the relationship between a DI ignition cassette that fails because it was defective and the subsequent burning up of the catalytic converter?

    Any advice? Thanks
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    i know of 2 things that will damage a cat.

    1) raw fuel going into it

    2) too much heat

    both the above ,i am told , repeat ,i am told ,can happen when you have a bad dic.

    also, and check this one out.
    a failure of a cat conv. is a blockage that does not allow the gases out and they back up into the engine causing too much back pressure.

    when you start the engine go to the muffler in the back and listen to it.
    if you hear rattling sounds that may ,may be , the conv beginning to desintegrate and all that matter then settles and blocks the passage.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    You know, for the last four years we've read that Bob Lutz, Marine fighter pilot, blogger extrodinaire, private fighter jet owner, helicopter commuter, ladies man, Saab driver, etc. was going to turn GM product around. Hasn't happened. A week or so ago GM took away a lot of his responsibiliies and moved it into the President's office. Then I see in today's WSJ that GM has hired a Wall St. analyst to come on full time to give the GM President insights into how the world sees GM. This is nuts. What would a Wall Street guy know about how the world really works?

    SAAB wouldn't be where they are today if a real car guy had been in charge of GM product development. The Car Guy's first memo would have been to SAAB management directing (note, not "suggesting") them to call Haldex by the close of business and begin making the entire line AWD. The second memo would be directing SAAB to air freight before the close of business that day a pallet load of the V6 engines to CA to have a 90 day crash program toward hanging a turbo off each bank. (If Audi can do it, why can't SAAB with far more turbo experience.) They could have called a twin turbo AERO, AERO TWO. The kids would have called it an AERO Deuce within 48 hours and sales would have rocketed. This didn't happen and Suburu and Volvo grabbed the winter niche and ate SAABs lunch.

    I'm beginning to thing that Lutz is simply a handsome 73 year old who made too many airplane landings without putting the wheels down. (It is public knowledge that he has done this at least once.)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We're here to talk about the 9-5 specifically, not Lutz, not why Saab is where it is today and not GM in general. Have a look at our News & Views board - I'm sure you'll find the right place to pursue those thoughts. :)
  • saaboysaaboy Posts: 23
    i agree wit mr. awd and twin turbo, how come we see audi doing it when saab has been using turbos more?! And the AWD, so not saab, even though saab never had it. Everything else with saabs are reasonable except for the fact that their isn't AWD even optional, at least on the real saabs. I hope GM doesn't think adding a trailblazer and WRX to the lineup will suffice the AWD in saab longings?

    P.S. Sorry host, but just wanted to add that really quick...
  • altbigdaltbigd Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 9-5 with 85,000 miles. At 55,000 miles (last summer) I had to replace the engine due to oil sludge and had to pay $ 3000. I have had nothing but trouble with this car. (worst decision I have ever made) Last week the O2 sensor need replacement - this week they say I need a catalytic converter for $1840. Oops & they will refund me for the O2 sensor. I have smoke coming from the car at start up and and waiting for the turbo to go. As the dealer said would happen with the sludge issue.
    What to Do?
    Can't trade - the resale on SAAB's is awful.
    Any suggestions - I have contacted SAAB regarding a refund - they indicated [non-permissible content removed] wasn't probable.
    Also - is the converter issue related at all to the sludge issue?
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    While you are a bit vague on details, my impression is that you now have a '01 9-5 with 30K on a remanufactured engine. How complete was the engine that was installed last summer and what was the warranty? ($3000 probably did not get you a complete remanufactured engine and installation. It is too low.) Apparently the engine smokes on start up. You probably have worn valve guides on the engine which at 30K miles is the fault of the remanufacturer. Is the replacement engine still within warranty? If not and if you can't live with it, the cylinder head has to come off and be redone at your expense.

    Not sure what you mean by "waiting for the turbo to go". But if you are having problems with your turbo maybe an independent shop could install a remanufactured-exchange one for you.

    All in all, European car at 4 years and 85K miles will have some problems. But at least when it is running well you have the satisfaction of driving a 9-5.
  • I have seen a lot of reports of problems with the DIC. Is this a problem on all 9-5's or just a specific model year(s)? Please be specific. I am looking at a 2002 and want to know if it will have similar problems. The salesman told me that they are replacing the old DI casettes with upgraded ones that won't be so unreliable. Is this bull?
  • jdowenjdowen Posts: 1
    I have an '01 9-5 and have had the DICs fail twice, once melting the catalytic converter. The first failure was in 2003 at 55K miles without warning and I had one cassette replaced. About 5 months later, the engine light came on a day before failure. The second failure caused the catalytic converter to burn up. This time the technician said that both DI cassettes have to be replaced when one fails or you run the risk of recurrence (either I was had by this guy, or the first guy installed it wrong) - expensive stuff! I happened to be far from home both times so they were different dealerships. Fortunately I was credited for the cost of the first replacement.

    I was just told last week that my car requires an update to the engine computer software that is intended to prevent DI cassette failures. Does anyone know much about this update? Does this mean that there was a problem with the old engine software causing the failures? Or is this update just what it says - added fail-safes to help reduce the occurrences of the failures?
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    the nhtsa has published a paper on the saab dic unit.

    it has a full report of failure rates and anticipated failure rates.

    sorry i cannot tell you were to go to find it but do a search and use saab dic to see if this will take you to the site with the report.

    or try the gvt. site.

    it is a problem.

    i have been carrying my spare for 3 years now.
    major problem is that if it goes ,chances are that your cat conv. will to . but they go for $ 800. if you shop the net.
  • aerodriveraerodriver Posts: 12
    I can't reply specifically to your question on the DI cassette in a 2002 9-5, but keep in mind that the 2002 model year for the 9-5 was extensively refreshed, with numerous parts upgrades to improve performance and reliability. My 2002 Aero has had zero problems (cross my fingers!).
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    I just came back from a long weekend in Montreal. Lovely city, great food, nice people without the anger so endemic in the Northeast US, good real estate prices, etc. My mind drifted to what might be the ideal car to do this 700 mile round trip once or twice a month year round to a condo on Sherbrooke St (yes, Montreal is that nice).

    Running through the list of possibilites, I came up with the SAAB 9-5 as the ideal all weather interstate blaster. Nice ride, great fwd traction, great seats, and not an outrageous buy-in price (especially if you buy a used one a year or two old). The 9-5 is much better than the big SUVs I saw on the trip, more fun than a Volvo S70 AWD, and a lot less money than the runner up on my list, the MB E Series with AWD. Spec it out with Zenons, install some Blizzaks on all four corners, and you would be all set for some fun motoring, even in January.

    On a different note, I was thinking today about the cost to repair Volvos/SAABs/Audi\/MB etc. and peoples reactions. My thought was that the cost for most any part is probably roughly the same across these car lines. A windshield wiper assembly, for example, on a Volvo is probably as expensive as on an E Series MB. The technicians certainly get paid the same. But people with the entry level lux cars (i.e., Volvo, SAAB, Audi) get excited and angry. They must think that because their SAAB or Volvo is not as expensive to buy as a MB or a Lexus , the cost of parts and service should be lower. This however has nothing to do with the cost of parts or service.
  • Service on my car was included up to the 30,000/36mo service. But looking at the service book, most items are listed as check this and check that.

    The car is 3 years old and I have had the 36mo service. The car only has 20,000 miles on it. At this point I have had the oil changed every 10,000 miles (will do 5k from now on) and had the engine air filter and cabin air filter replaced along with the battery at the 36mo service.

    Here's my question... when should you have the Auto trans fluid changed? How about the engine coolant, the fuel filter, the brake fluid? Seems like the dealer will change these things "when I need to" after they check them if I keep going back every 10k miles. the service book lists the spark plugs as needing to be changed at 40k.

    I think it makes sense to "check' everything when I bring it in but there has to be a point at which service should be done. Especially if it's required to keep with the warranty. For example, I don't think i'd go past 50k on the coolant even if it is 100k coolant.

    Any thoughts??
  • i have made a 13.5k offer for a 01 9-5 SE v6 including one year bumper to bumper warranty.
    dealer said 14k and i left without the car. i have looked at the carfax and there are 14 service records on it that are not oil changes. i asked for a full printout of detailed service history(most repairs were done at said dealership) and the dealer denied, citing legal restrictions, but i was allowed to speak with the saab service manager. the service manager informed me that repairs were all minor: headlight here, alternator there, a/c compressor (a common problem with all cars in the climate in which i live), oil leak (a little alarming)....
    so my question is: am i being offered a good deal or lemon? i love the feel of the car but i am new to the luxury car arena. last car was a 91 honda civic.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181

    in reply to your question.
    i enjoy doing all the fluid changes myself.
    good therapy and it gets done and right.

    anyhow ,i change the oil every 3k

    and i change the tranny fluid every 3 or 6k depending how i feel.

    it is easy to do.
    just pull out a medium size plug .
    if car is hot about 4 will come out if not 3.

    then screw it back

    you will have to buy a washer ,an expansion washer to replace the old one. the tranny plug is forward of the oil on the drivers side.
  • ffb13

    Thanks for the feedback on the tranny fluid. Does the Aero have a transmision filter? If so is that best left to someone who can put the car on a lift?
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Three questions:

    How many miles now on the car?

    WHOSE bumper to bumper warranty?

    Air compressors are common problems in which climates? I think even in the Northeast people have them on a lot of the year and I've never heard it to be a problem in a late model car.
  • 1. 46k
    2. saab dealership warranty (certified)
    3. hot, humid new orleans climate (a/c necessary 11 months out of the year)
    thanks, blckislandguy.
  • I feel your pain. I have a 1999 9-5 SE with 74,000 miles. We bought it used at 48,000 miles, checked all service records...which were really good....we have continued to service it at Saab dealerships. Started it a couple of days ago and drove 3 miles, sounded like we hit a deer, and the car died. The local Saab dealer says the timing chain "jumped" /broke, and engine is ruined. They can get a salvage motor and with labor will cost me $7,000. Are you kidding me? We have taken good care of this vehicle, can't resell it without a working motor, and its not worth much more than the cost of a replacement engine. Its fun to drive, but not worth the risk! If anyone has an idea on any possible options, please, I'm all ears....thanks
  • Try very hard to find an independent shop. Very few shops are known or advertised as Saab specialists, seek out shops that are advertised or known as Volvo/Audi/BMW/Mercedes specialists. Despite having a soft spot for Saabs, I avoided them because of situations like you find yourself in. If you end up having to get something else, target Taurus, year 2000 and newer and have some Brembo brake rotors installed. Taurus has used same base engine since 1986 introduction and has a timing chain instead of a belt. All mechanics can work on a Taurus.

    General Motors (Saab's corporate parent for about a decade) is known for building throwaway cars that need to be replaced once paid off, it seems to be infecting Saab, sadly. Good luck and let us know what happens........
  • Concerning your Saab 9-5 problems, target the shop that installed your DI igniton module with an effective lawsuit. Get statement that the igniton module was installed incorrectly, check yellow pages for secretarial services experienced in typing up lawsuits and.....
    Erwin Rommel Law,, order Lawsuit Cookbook;1997 Charlotte, NC video seminar; the TrialBook (extra credit if you get "Making and Meeting Objections"). Thru Amazon order latest edition of Nolo's LEgal Research book. Study one hour a day for 9 weeks or two hours a day for about 5 weeks. Anybody can and has done it, including high school dropouts and housepainters.
    Will cost dealership about $5000 just to initially begin to defend the lawsuit, they will settle for cost of new catalytic converter. Seek out independent shop for future.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Lets be a little analytical here: No '01 vehicle that I am aware of, certified or not, comes with a bumber to bumper warranty. Please re-read the warranty. No way is it b to b.

    Secondly, I wasn't aware that Saab's CPO program would include cars this old. Make sure that this is a Saab CPO car, not just an aftermarket warranty the dealer threw on the windshield. Finally, the money with your deep south location sounds a little high on a soon to be five year old Northeastern college town car.

    You can do better and/or newer.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    While I can't offer much beyond sympathy, I do have two thoughts. Most vehicles with timing belts have a "major service" at which this component must be changed. Just out of curiosity, when is this service scheduled on your Saabs engine?

    Second, 7K to have them pick up a junkyard ("salvage") engine and throw it in?? Please. Surely, with a little research (there are salvage yards that just specialize in Saab; see an issue of Hemmings) and leg work you can find an independent garage that can pop in an engine. Or, maybe only the head needs work and the lower end is OK. Clearly, they quoted you the 7K figure to get you out of their shop and moving down the road. Acquiesce to this and take it to a garage that wants to help.

    As far as suggesting that you buy a used Taurus and put in 2K worth (plus labor) of Brembo brakes, that poster has read too many issues of CarCraft and needs to rejoin the classroom discussion.
  • Blckislandguy,

    Read my email again and pay attention. I specifically mentioned ordering Brembo brake rotors.....rotors only....$170 or so thru autobarn dot com, use regular, off-the-shelf brake pads. My neighborhood hole-in-the-wall indy shop installed rotors and pads for $60. Transformed a Taurus into a much better vehicle that is reliable and, if bought at 4-5 years old, has 80-90% of the depreciation wrung out of it. If an accident or major repair causes someone to need a decent vehicle for a while until they get something better, the Taurus is a pragmatic option.
    I mentioned the used 2000 and newer Taurus as an option if they get rid of their Saab.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181

    no filter in transmission .this is why it is so easy to change the fluid. just take the plug out,let it drain, ,put plug back in and then add fluid.

    i bought a set of rhino car risers ,you basically drive the car up on it and makes it very easy to get under the car and drain the oil and tranny.

    some dealers charge $180. for the tranny fluid change .

    also ,just installed the remus viggen oval tip exhaust in my 9.5 aero.
    my rear muffler was rusting in the outer shell and went to a local dealer and got the above for $ 425. including tax. about $ 80 off list.

    so far ,it is not too loud , except inside my garage ,once out and on the road you cannot hear it.
    any benefits ?
    i was told no with the auto tranny ,but major benefits if you add the chip and other in a manual.
  • Alrighty, perhaps someone could help me with my little debacle. I'm am considering purchasing a 1999 Saab 9-5 SE V6. I've read reviews, and I have driven this particular car. I love everything about the car. The one thing that is holding me back is whether or not this car will prove to be reliable. I'll be honest as say that I know very little about Saabs and any car that comes from the land of ABBA. In fact, I have been driving Toyotas for my past two cars. Which reinforces that fact. Are there any things in particular I should look for while inspecting the car? What were the problem areas for that particular model? Hopefully you guys can help convince this Camry driver to be a 9-5 driver.

    Thanks for any help, Peter
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    think of buying a saab the same as buying a jaguar.

    some are good some are not .

    it used to be that 7 out of 10 jaguars were not reliable.(my stat )

    nowadays it is more like 4 out of 10.and this is a stretch.

    you want reliability get a toyota or honda.

    you want "character " ie. problematical and unreliable get a saab.or get a fiat or an english car.

    i own one , 9.5 aero ,with 86,000 miles and was just given an 8 year warranty unlimited mileage (see consumer reports of last month for other cars in this fix ) because the engines are failing. they call it the oil sludge factor.

    look into other saab sites that give you very accurate info. on your question.
  • altbigdaltbigd Posts: 2
    I would investigate weather it is covered under SAAB's extended warranty. I received a letter From SAAB offering an additional 8 years on my engine as long as I provided all receipts and copies of checks done by certified SAAB repair folks. They only are offering it to certain years because of the oil sludge problem. If you decide to buy used I would see if it is covered first and get the letter directly from SAAB. My 9-5 had to have a new engine at 55,000 miles last summer. Last month they replaced my O-2 sensor, catalytic convertor and it is back in the shop with what they hesitate to call it computer issues. I have been using a loaner for the past couple of weeks will they look at it and fight with SAAB. The car has 85,000 miles.
    I would never buy a SAAB again, I would like to sell - interested. ;)
    Stick with Toyota or Volvo.
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